Oral Surgery Services
When something is difficult, we usually say it’s like pulling teeth -- but in reality, tooth extraction is a routine procedure that helps prevent more serious dental problems. The most commonly needed extractions are usually wisdom teeth, but dentists may also remove a tooth if it’s coming in at an angle, threatening the position of other healthy teeth or contributing to overcrowding in the mouth.
In some cases, a broken tooth may also need to be extracted, as well as teeth with significant decay that cannot be treated by a root canal. Patients with advanced gum disease may be considered for an extraction as well. In the end, removing one potentially harmful tooth can often spare you hours of future treatment.
During your appointment, your dentist will typically use an X-ray to determine if an extraction is necessary. You’ll also be asked to go over your dental history, including any past problems with extractions, current medications and medical conditions. Be sure to be detailed and include any information that may be relevant.
What to Expect When You’re Extracting
To begin, you’ll receive a local anesthetic to numb the tooth, jawbone and surrounding gums. Your dentist, or in some cases an oral surgeon, will begin to rock the tooth back and forth and rotate it to widen the socket for easier extraction. Because your pain receptors have been numbed, you’ll sense some dull pressure during this process, but shouldn’t feel any pain. When the tooth is fully detached, your dentist will remove it and cover the exposed gum with a small piece of gauze.
After your extraction, your dentist or hygienist will explain how to ensure that you heal properly. In most cases, they will advise you to bite gently on your gauze for 30 minutes to an hour. It’s important that you follow their instructions exactly to avoid any further complications. Generally, these instructions will include:
- Applying ice to the jaw area if you experience swelling
- Continuing to brush, but avoiding the area surrounding the extraction
- Gently rinsing your mouth with water
- Taking an antibiotic or pain reliever, if needed
- Avoiding smoking or using a straw for at least 24 hours
You may also be advised to stay away from certain foods and any strenuous activity for the first few days. When cared for properly, your mouth should heal quickly, but contact your dental office if you feel any prolonged pain.
It may be hard to believe that one little tooth can make such a big difference, but getting a simple tooth extraction can help ensure that your teeth stay healthy, evenly spaced and toothache-free.
Crown lengthening is necessary when you have a broken or decayed tooth that requires a crown or bridge but the remaining piece of tooth is too short for placement and retention of the new prosthesis.
The treatment requires surgery to increase the amount of undamaged tooth structure necessary to support and retain the crown or bridge. The gum tissue can then establish a healthy seal to the root surface because there now is adequate space for the gum to attach to the tooth (this is referred to as adequate' biologic width').
Crown lengthening will provide you with the following health benefits:
- Increase in the length of tooth above the gum line so that a the crown or bridge can be attached and not 'fall off.'
- Enables the gum to form a healthy seal around the tooth which will minimize inflammation and prevent bone destruction.
If you choose not to have the treatment you face the following risks:
- Inability of your general dentist to install a satisfactory new crown or bridge.
- Your periodontal health may be compromised because the width of the gum supporting the tooth is inadequate.
- Your crown or bridge may 'fall-off' without warning.
- The gum tissue around the crown may become red and inflamed because of inadequate 'biologic width.'
Soft Tissue Grafts
If you have one of the following dental problems a soft tissue graft may be the optimal treatment:
- Long-in-the-tooth appearance due to gum recession.
- Tooth sensitivity and pain because of root surface exposure.
- Risk of root surface tooth decay.
- Inadequate width of firm or sturdy ('keratinised') gum tissue.
The treatment involves: Surgical repositioning or replacement of soft tissue to establish a protective width of sturdy gum tissue.
A soft tissue graft will provide you with the following health benefits:
- A pleasant smile and which will improve your appearance and confidence.
- Your teeth will no longer have that long-in-the-tooth look.
- The health of your gum tissue will be restored, along with improved resistance to trauma, infection and additional recession.
- The root surface will be covered by the tissue graft decreasing the risk of root sensitivity and decay.
- Reduce further recession and bone loss
If you decide not to pursue treatment you face the following risks:
- Increased long-in-the-tooth appearance as the gum recession continues.
- Increased tooth sensitivity and pain.
- Less resistance to trauma, tissue damage and infection.
- Increased risk of root surface decay.
Our office offers the most advanced technology available in dentistry today. Here is an example of just a few benefits you will receive as a patient in our practice.
- Digital Radiography -all of our operatories are equipped with digital xrays which means less radiation to you. Not only do digital xrays deliver up to 96% less radiation than traditional equipment, but the picture quality and capabilities to enlarge on our touch screen monitors, are better to.
- Intraoral Cameras -our office is committed to patient education, and as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. From a fractured tooth, leaking filling, or an area of decay, with an intraoral camera, our patients have the ability to see what we see.
- Laser Dentistry
- Diagnodent Laser Caries Detection Aid
More and more patients place value on healthy and attractive teeth. In order to maintain them, the earliest possible care is essential. DIAGNOdent aids in the detections of caries. Even very small lesions are detected at the earliest stage, enabling you to protect and preserve the tooth substance.
- Soft Tissue - Diode Laser
One of the major advances in technology is the use of a soft tissue laser.
Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy is
with laser technology our hygienists can go above and beyond the traditional scraping. We now deliver laser energy through a small optical fiber to clean pockets of infection that develop between the teeth and the gums. This therapy provides bacterial decontamination and stimulates healing in the gum tissue and bone that surrounds the teeth.
- Is laser treatment safe? Yes. If the dental laser is used in according to accepted practices by a trained practitioner, it is as safe as other dental instruments. Our hygiene team has received specific training and certification required by the Arizona State of Dental Examiners.
- Is any precaution necessary? You will be asked to wear special glasses to protect your eyes from the laser light beam.
- What are the Advantages of Laser Therapy compared to Conventional Therapy in Treating Gum Disease? Laser treatments may be more comfortable than treatment with conventional instruments. The gum tissue may be removed without bleeding and swelling because the powerful light beam seals blood vessels and nerve endings.
- The Diode laser used in our office has been cleared by the FDA.
Light Amplified by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
A variety of laser types have evolved with dental use potential. Lasers can now help doctors diagnose and treat conditions. Here are some of the major benefits associated with laser dentistry:
Procedures performed using dental lasers may not require stitches.
Certain laser dentistry procedures do not require anesthesia.
Laser dentistry minimizes bleeding because the high-energy light beam aids in the clotting (coagulation) of exposed blood vessels, thus inhibiting blood loss.
Bacterial infections are minimized because the high-energy beam sterilizes the area being worked on.
Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized.
Wounds heal faster and tissues can be regenerated.
Specific procedure types include:
- Benign Tumors: Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of benign tumors from the gums, palate, sides of cheeks, and lips.
- Cavity Detector: Low intensity soft tissue dental lasers may be used for the early detection of cavities by providing a reading of the by-products produced by decay.
- Cold Sores: Low intensity dental lasers reduce pain associated with cold sores and minimize healing time.
- Crown Lengthening: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue and bone to expose healthier tooth structure. Called crown lengthening, such reshaping provides a stronger foundation for a restoration.
- Muscle Attachment (Frenula): A laser frenectomy is an ideal treatment option for children who are tongue tied (restricted or tight frenulum) and babies unable to breast feed adequately due to limited tongue movement. A laser frenectomy may also help to eliminate speech impediments.
- Soft Tissue Folds (Epulis): Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of soft tissue folds often caused by ill-fitting dentures.
- Gummy Smile: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure and improve the appearance of a gummy smile.
Implant Placement and Restoration
What is an Implant?
Dental implants are small posts made of biocompatible titanium that act as artificial roots and are the closest substitute to natural teeth in form and function.
Dental implants act as artificial roots. They are placed into your jaw where the root of the tooth once was, and are the closest substitute to natural teeth available. Dental implants can be used to support single crowns, bridges and dentures. Whether you are missing one tooth, several
teeth or all of your teeth, dental implants may be an option for you.
We all feel that our teeth are important. But, when your smile begins to affect your quality of life, the health, function and appearance of your teeth take on a whole new meaning. Nobody needs to endure unhealthy or missing teeth, or the embarrassment of slipping dentures. Now, with dental implants, your dentist can restore your missing teeth without needing to grind down adjacent teeth (crown & bridge) or employ traditional dentures (teeth supported by the ridge). You will again smile with confidence. No other dental procedure can give you a more natural look or anchor crowns more securely.
Bridge vs. Implant
At NVFD we strongly believe that patients are better served with dental implants rather than bridges, when applicable. Dental implants are self supporting, easier to keep clean, do not rely on adjacent teeth for strength, do not require preparation of the adjacent teeth, and have a longer life expectancy than bridges. We make the decision between dental implant and bridge easy by keeping dental implants affordable.
At NVFD we are trained to provide all aspects of implant treatment. No driving all over town and seeing unfamiliar doctors to be treated. Our staff is experienced and well trained in implant dentistry and eager to help you with your dental implant needs.
Dental Implants are a Functional and Desirable Alternative to Conventional Bridges and Dentures
Dentures have to be taken out and soaked at night. During the day, they can also look unnatural and rub painfully. Dentures and partials make it difficult or impossible to eat certain foods. Dental implants can now be used to anchor partial and full dentures. This prevents the slipping, irritation, and pain associated with “floating” partials and dentures.
It also prevents the tedious removal of dentures for overnight soaking and cleaning. Dental implants also eliminate the need for dental adhesives. This allows you to enjoy eating the foods you previously avoided. With dental implants, your partials or dentures are firmly anchored to the jawbone, causing them to feel much more like natural teeth.
Natural tooth roots and dental implant posts are fixed firmly in your jawbone. When you chew, these tooth roots and posts stimulate the jawbone and prevent it from shrinking. You may have seen a person who looked prematurely old because their jawbone and face structure had shrunk after wearing floating dentures. Dental implants help preserve your jawbone and appearance.
New and often existing dentures can be secured with 2 or more dental implants. This incredible procedure dramatically increases denture comfort and chewing effectiveness while stopping bone loss often associated with prolonged denture use. This is an easy and inexpensive
way to quickly improve the life style of a denture wearer. Additional
implants can be added in the future to further help in supporting the denture thereby making it even more comfortable. Some of our most satisfied patients are patients that received dental implants as part of their denture treatment. Please contact us for testimonials or more information.
What is the Implant Procedure?
Based on your indications, dental implants are placed in one or two stages. In a Single-Stage procedure, the implant site is precisely prepared and the implant is inserted into the jawbone with the top of the implant extending through the gums.
In a Two-Stage procedure, the implant site is precisely prepared and the implant is inserted into the jaw, and the implant is completely covered by the gums.
Depending on your treatment plan and indications, implants can be restored immediately (Single-Stage) or after a pre-determined healing period (Two-Stage).
The next phase includes impressions of your implant, soft tissue contouring, custom fabrication of the crown, and attachment of the crown to the implant.
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
Simply ask our implant specialist. After a thorough exam and dental x-rays, we can help you determine if dental implants are right for you.
We offer free consultations and Panoramic x-rays to those interested in implants.